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Easy, Four-Ingredient Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

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Take five minutes to throw four ingredients into the crockpot to make this Slow Cooker Italian Beef. After a few hours you’ll have zesty and filling shredded beef that you can pile onto a crusty bun and top with cheese and peppers for a delicious sandwich.

shredded italian beef sandwich topped with peppers on a white plate.

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

Everyone loves crockpot recipes. Especially ones that require only 5 minutes to prep and no additional work before it goes into the slow cooker. This is one of those recipes.

In my slow cooker group on Facebook, I have many people request “convenience” recipes (canned soup, etc…like my creamy italian chicken) and then many that only want “real” ingredients. I get it. I like to offer a balance of the two.

This slow cooker Italian Beef only requires four ingredients to make and then you can shred it up, pile it onto a sandwich bun, load it with toppings, and enjoy it for a game day, at a party, or just for dinner.

Why you’ll love these Crockpot Italian Beef Subs

  • It makes a lot. You can easily serve 6-8 people with a 2-3 pound roast.
  • They’re easy! Only 4 ingredients, 5 minutes prep, and then toppings.
  • Great for game day or a party.
shredded beef and peppers being scooped from a slow cooker with a metal slotted spoon.

Equipment needed to make Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

  • Slow Cooker – A 6 quart slow cooker (or larger) is needed for this recipe. I have this one and recommend it.
  • Ladle – To scoop out some of the juices from the roast.
  • Meat Claws – I usually just use a fork but my husband swears by these meat claws for shredding meat.

Ingredients for Italian Beef Sandwiches

Below is a list of ingredients you’ll need to help you prep. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

Beef – A two to three pound chuck eye roast. Below is a list of other common names this cut sometimes goes by.
Italian Dressing – Use your favorite Italian dressing. Alternatively a dry zesty Italian packet can also be used.
Sweet Salad Peppers – Sweet salad peppers come in a jar and are found in the olive/condiment aisle of most markets. Mt. Olive also makes a “Sweet n Hot” version of salad peppers that can also be used.
Parmesan Cheese – Grated parmesan cheese.
Buns – You’ll need a crusty bread to use for these sandwiches like hoagie or French bread.
Sliced Cheese – To top the sandwiches, you’ll want provolone or mozzarella slices of cheese.

overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to make italian beef.

How to make Italian Beef Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker

STEP ONE: First, add the roast to the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker. Pour the Italian dressing on top and then add half of the jar of sweet peppers and half of the juice. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.

STEP TWO: One hour before the end of the cook time, once the meat is tender, use a ladle to remove the majority of the juices, shred the meat, and add the parmesan cheese. Stir, replace the cover, and let it come together for another 30-60 minutes.

STEP THREE: Finally, when ready to serve, pile some shredded beef onto a bun, top with cheese and additional peppers and enjoy!

overhead shot of a roast beef in a slow cooker topped with peppers.

Possible Substitutions/Additions

  • You can use pepperoncinis or roasted red peppers instead of sweet salad peppers.
  • If you want to add some heat, add some hot pepper rings and juice to the mix.
  • Adding sliced onions to cook with the beef adds another level of flavor.
  • Mozzarella cheese is a great alternative to provolone. So is pepper jack!
  • If not serving as a sandwich, the shredded beef is also delicious over mashed potatoes.

Optional Toppings

I served this batch of sandwiches with provolone cheese and additional sweet peppers but some other topping options include: giardiniera (mixed pickled veggies), pepperoncinis, sliced red onions, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomato…whatever your favorite sandwich fixings are!

How to reheat and store Slow Cooker Italian Beef

How to store leftovers

Leftovers should be stored covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can I freeze Italian Beef?

Italian beef will freeze well. First, let it cool completely and then transfer it to a freezer safe container or a freezer bag. Squeeze out any excess air and then freeze for up to 3 months.

When ready to eat it, move it from the freezer to the fridge to thaw overnight.

How to reheat Italian Beef

When you’re ready to reheat the beef, you can heat it in the microwave, in the oven, or back in the slow cooker until it is heated through.

overhead shot of shredded beef and peppers in a crockpot.

Italian Beef FAQs

What goes with Italian beef sandwiches?

If you’re serving the shredded Italian beef as a standalone dish (not as a sandwich), I would pair it with garlic mashed potatoes, roasted potato wedges, baked potatoes (either made in the air fryer or slow cooker) a salad, or loaded cauliflower casserole.

Is Italian Beef spicy?

No, it’s not spicy. Much like Mississippi Pot Roast that uses pepperoncinis, I don’t find this beef actually heat-spicy with the use of the sweet salad peppers, which are banana peppers. I’d say it’s zesty but definitely kid-friendly.

If you want to spice it up, you can add some hot pepper rings and juice.

What cut of meat is Italian beef made from?

We’re using a boneless chuck eye roast for this Italian beef. A chuck eye comes from the shoulder and is flavorful and fairly fatty, which means it breaks down nicely while slow cooking to leave the meat juicy. It has less tissue so there is less to trim away, giving you more bang for your buck.

Can I use dry Italian seasoning mix?

Yes, you can use a packet of zesty Italian dressing mix instead of the prepared dressing. I like Good Seasons brand.

Which type of rolls should I use for the sandwiches?

You’ll want a nice, sturdy bread for the sandwiches. Either hoagie rolls, french rolls, or your favorite sub sandwich will work well.

What is a chuck eye roast?

If you haven’t seen a “chuck eye roast” in your market it could be because it goes by lots of names. Other names you can look for include:

  • chuck center roast
  • chuck-eye roll
  • inside chuck roll
  • boneless chuck fillet
  • America’s beef roast

All of those are referring to the same cut.

Need more beef recipes? Try these:

Easy Garlic Steak Bites
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Potatoes
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Slow Cooker Hot Dog Chili

Click here for my entire collection of beef recipes.

two shredded beef sandwiches on hoagies topped with peppers on white plate.

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shredded italian beef sandwich topped with peppers on a white plate.

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

Melissa Williams
Take five minutes to throw four ingredients into the crockpot to make this Slow Cooker Italian Beef. After a few hours you'll have zesty and filling shredded beef that you can pile onto a crusty bun and top with cheese and peppers for a delicious sandwich.
4.38 from 16 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 598 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 2-3 pound boneless beef chuck eye roast
  • 1 cup zesty Italian dressing
  • 12 ounce sweet and hot salad peppers undrained
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 6-8 sandwich buns
  • provolone cheese

Instructions
 

  • Place the beef in the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker. Pour the Italian dressing over the top.
    2-3 pound boneless beef chuck eye roast
  • On top of the meat, pour half the jar of peppers and half the juice from the jar, reserving the rest of the peppers.
    12 ounce sweet and hot salad peppers, 1 cup zesty Italian dressing
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
  • An hour before the set cook time is up, when the meat is tender, use a ladle to remove most of the juice from the slow cooker and shred the meat right in the slow cooker.
  • Pour in the parmesan cheese and stir. Replace the lid and let the flavors come together for an additional 30-60 minutes.
    ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • When ready to serve, pile shredded beef on a bun and top with provolone cheese and reserved peppers.
    6-8 sandwich buns, provolone cheese
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • You can use pepperoncinis or roasted red peppers instead of sweet salad peppers.
  • Adding sliced onions to cook with the beef adds another level of flavor.
  • Mozzarella cheese is a great alternative to provolone.
  • If not serving as a sandwich, the shredded beef is also delicious over mashed potatoes.
  • Stover leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 598kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 36gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 885mgPotassium: 602mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 70IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 131mgIron: 5mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Stef says

    5 stars
    Made these yesterday, turned out great. Our roast was a little bigger so let cook about 7 hours before I could shred. Added some red pepper flakes, too. Then toasted the sandwiches in the Air Fryer. Will make again thanks!

    • Jeremy says

      5 stars
      I did the same it was amazing!

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